Tag Archives: Kymco

FINALLY back for a new year, and the word is: Determined

So, I know… it’s been ultra dead around here.  This is because life has got in the way of scootering BIG time.  So much that I hardly see anyone that I regard as friend or family with work and school goings ons (Is that even a word?).  But, we trudge on.

The Agility is doing well, in case you were wondering.  We’re still a “gang” of one running scooter, one non-running.  But, the Kymco is plugging along just fine.  In fact, I was gifted with a rather goal-specific Christmast tiding from my mother in law for the bike: A brand new DETACHABLE top case!

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The mounting hardware doesn’t quite fit, but the mounting plate fits right on to the rear rack like it was custom made!  It’s a locking ABS plastic economy deal, but since most of the rest of the bike is the same grade plastic (only thicker) it will do just fine.  The lock for the lid is also the lock for the latch to the base plate, so it only takes one key.  A few test runs shows that it could use a bit of firming up on the mounting points, but otherwise I think it will do just well for the epic journey.

As for the journey, you bet it’s still on!  I have to start getting in gear since Amerivespa is only 6 months away, and there’s still plenty to do.  The biggest hurdle right now is actually getting a new passport.  For reasons unknown to me, my mother refuses to give me my birth certificate. She’s more than willing to photocopy or scan it, but for some reason she thinks she has eminent domain over my only proof of birth and hence info for my evidence of immigration. And, the entity that is the Department of Homeland Security has determined that passports are required for all Mexico entry.  So, once I can figure out how to get a certified copy of my proof of birth, we shall be on to stage two: Actual planning!  So, stay tuned because I PROMISE I shall start keeping this blog more up to date since the epic Mexico to Amerivespa road trip …thing… will start having many more posts!

That, and I’m open to submissions for a snazzy title.  Yes, I intend to make a scooter trip video that does NOT suck, unlike the variety of vids that are on YouTube and the like right now.  And, being an audio engineer I fully intend to do the voice overs right and even compose the music myself (yes, I am taking all of my production cues from “Long Way Round”. What of it?) 

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Scooter Pic of the Day

OK… let’s try this AGAIN!!!

Up above you see a nifty little discovery: Another Kymco Agility 125!! This one was brand new with the temp plate still on the back of the bike.

It seems word is getting out that these bikes rock, although the new owner needs to learn to lock their steering column!

As for the lack of postings as of late, I do apologize.  I recently made the upgrade to Windows 8, and while I’m loving the faster layout and the improved performance (went from a 1 minute 18 second boot up time to 16 seconds cold!), it seems developers are keen on seeing this platform die by making the CRAPPIEST apps in the world!! C’mon WordPress!!!  Your web based publisher sucks horribly, and what passes for a Windows 8 desktop app is so limited, I can create more in depth posts on my PHONE!  You can’t even edit from the new Windows 8 app, only post.  And, the formatting options aren’t worth a damn either.

Very Disappoint, WordPress…. very.  Guess the most widely used OS in the world isn’t hipster enough for you guys to actually make a decent app, huh?

(The opinions herein do not express the overall opinion of the Slow Kids Scooter Gang and are an editorial by the author.  But, wordpress is sucking pretty hard right now, so there!)


Over at the In N Out with the Phoenix Meetup Scooter Club

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So, I had a weekend night with no shows.  This meant, as a production tech with no life, I had zero on my plate on a hoppin’ Friday night.  But, I saw on the local Phoenix Meetup board a notice that there was going to be a meet at the Tempe In-N-Out burger joint.  So, after a quick wash of the scooter and a fill up, I headed out to finally try to be social with *other* riders in the valley.

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As it turned out, it was a great time! There were about 12 others there on bikes of all types.  From a couple of Chinese rides to top-of-the-line Vespa GT300’s, there were even a few Kymcos (Including my trusty little Agility) and even a 4-Stroke Stella and vintage style Honda Helix!

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Turns out that the rider, Keith, is a reader of this very blog!  It was crazy hearing him recount articles that I have written on this very page… it was like someone was actually reading this drivel.  And, it was a first chance for me to hear a 4-stroke Stella in person, and it’s almost too quiet.  And, it didn’t “smell” right, but that’s the 2-stroke enthusiast in me.  Otherwise, it was a sweet machine.

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Another bike that caught my eye was this Honda PCX.  It was a really slick machine at night, but after sitting on it I came to the conclusion that, after riding the Agility, the seat “hump” on the PCX’s saddle was just in the wrong place, forcing me forward. But, from the owner’s reports there is more than enough power, if it weren’t for the limiter chip installed in the bike from the factory. Major suck on limiters..

As I mentioned, there were a few Chinese scooters there, but they were all running which was unusual in it’s own right.  One of the riders, Prescott, was already mentioning his interest in looking for a step up from his ride (which cost about $1049 from what he reported).  But, it sounded in working order and he like the rest there was a great guy and very welcoming!

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There was even another Kymco in the mix to welcome others of the Taiwanese marque.  This Grandvista had a few years on it, but from the looks and sound you would never know!  These bikes hold up extremely well and seeing one look this good after a few years only increases my confidence in my bike.

It was a great meet up and I had a chance to finally meet some other riders in the valley. It was honestly refreshing not having to deal with the vintage-snobs and the cliquish club riders that have pretty much faded into obscurity in the valley.  Hopefully I can get on a few more of these rides when I can get even a little time off. 

And, the weather was PERFECT: 71 degrees and clear skies.  Can’t get better than that.


Kymco Agility Carry… I WANT!!!!

All I can say is that I want this front rack setup for my scooter!!!

It’s a 50, but there’s no reason why I couldn’t just find a way to order the front shield and put it on my 125.  It’s a front rack…for a Kymco!  Yes it’s ugly, but I might as well embrace the ultility aspect of the bike.  What’s even cooler is the legshield inner rack.  It comes with a messenger bag that snaps on.  THIS would be perfect not only for my commute to work but for upcoming long distance trips.

Want.

Now, how the hell to get it…


Slow Kids Field Trip ‘13, Part 2: From daily life to preparation

For most of us, our scooter is a daily mode of transport.  It’s the workhorse of the transportation world and as such is ridiculed by many other motorcycle riders as not being a “real” bike.  As someone who’s ridden everything from Triumphs to Harleys to Vespas, I of course would disagree. 

But, that’s not to deny that they are made for a particular environment.  It’s why I myself chose the Kymco Agility 125.  It’s a durable, reliable if not boring looking scooter.  It does the job of commuter better than nearly anything on the road for it’s price and it doesn’t look like a Chinese POS (which is very important in the scooter world ). And it does the daily chores expected of such a scooter with ease (such as the weekly bottled water runs seen below)

Or even grabbing a pizza:

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But, when you talk about cross country trips, THEN people really start looking at you like you’re nuts, and perhaps you may be just a little.  But, that’s half of the joy: Taking something designed for one purpose on an adventure doing something completely out of the ordinary.  When we think about Amerivespa, it means taking our daily riders and subjecting them to several THOUSAND miles of asphalt, gravel, dirt roads and NO roads in two different countries.  That means that both the bikes and the riders are going to have to prepare for things they never had to do before (for most). 

In the following entries, I’ll highlight my experiences with cross country riding, and how it’s going to be far different on a scooter.  I may do it with this Agility I have.  And why not? It’s known for being bulletproof reliable, simple to work on and made to be abused.  I also may do it on a Stella or a vintage P-series that has the same reputation from 30 years ago.  Either way, the choice of bikes is critical.  Also, there is the physical training of taking your body and wrestling a single cylinder small bike across Northern Mexico and the Southwest US.  It will be anything but easy, and probably more physically grueling on the rider than doing it on a fancy BMW or Kawasaki Adventure bike with 1200cc’s of power and custom made off road suspension.  Then of course there is the financial and mental preparation.  Any motorcycle adventure succeeds or fails on proper planning when it comes to logistics and financing.  Do we need carnes? What about Passports? What is the exchange rate? What if we break down and needs parts? What if we need a tow? HOW do we tow it home if needed? All of these are critical. 

So, stay tuned and you will see how we as city commuters start to attack the daunting task this next summer.  I think the difference in perspectives will shed some light on an awesome subgroup of riders most motorcyclist overlook… even when they are your own kind!


Musings after 1500k

 

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It’s been quiet around here.  That’s to be sure.  BUT… there has been some interest because yesterday we hit our HIGHEST per-day count yet: 69 BABY!!!

So, I figured it would be a good time to discuss the musings of using a commuter bike as the main bike for someone who’s ridden and lusted after fine Italian steel much of his life.  

As you see above, the Agility 125 has become part of the family, even taking it’s  own spot in the living room.  While some may question why take such care of a “commuter” bike, it is still *my* bike, and the only one I have.  And, while my new digs (The new “bunker” if you will)  are nice, the surrounding neighborhood is still on it’s way up.  I don’t want to take any chances, and this way it keeps nice and preserved without being beaten by the Arizona sun constantly. 

As far as growing performance, it’s settled into a top speed of about 65K-Mph (Kymco Miles Per Hour), which registers to about 61 Mph by GPS.  It has great pep and acceleration all the way up to about 45-50, but then plateaus pretty quick there after.  The ride is still stiff, but the bike makes up for the rough ride by some amazing cornering and handling hampered only by the strangely profiled tires.  With new tread, there’s no reason why I couldn’t drag with the best of them!  Seriously, this bike handles great, and way above it’s class and price point.

The brakes are a bit of a sore spot.  They’re “OK”, but not great.  And, the front disc has developed a squeal that I just can’t get rid of. I’ve tried sanding the pads, constant applications of brakecleaner to remove dust… nothing.  Still there. May have the dealer look into it after I can afford to do my 3rd service interval.  Other than that, all the rest of the material of the bike is holding up well into it’s 1500th Kilometer.  No broken bits and every bit of plastic seems to be in great condition.  The only minor bit is that the center stand likes to stick when folding it back up, but that’s the only thing I could find to harp on.

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All in all, the bike has proven a great daily driver.  It’s neutral styling doesn’t attract the wrong attention, while it doesn’t look like a cheap China-Container scooter.  It’s build quality is impressive for the price point, and the performance is solid.  No, it’s not as smooth as a Vespa LXV or as sleek as a Honda PCX, but we’re talking about bikes that cost two to three times what this did!  And, I’ve been seeing more pop up on the roads here in Phoenix.  When gas makes it’s innevitable climb above $4/gallon as it does every winter, I’m sure that with the number of dealerships Kymco is pushing in Arizona, we’re going to see A LOT more.

And, as for the great Mexico to San Diego Amerivespa trip?  This could be a contender.  Yes, I haven’t forgotten about that promise.  The pressures of full time work, more than full time school and moving into a new place may of taken me offline for a bit, but I have still been thinking of that journey.  Current conditions may preclude me getting another vintage scooter for the great trip, so the Agility may have to step up to the challenge of fighting the journey South of the border instead.  And, so far? It may just do fine!

Although, the ride is a bit rough, there’s no doubt the machine is up for the challenge!  And to make a trip on what is considered to be the cheapest quality-made bike on the market could be a bragging right on it’s own!


In the Wild: Another Agility!

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It’s not exactly Earth-shattering, but in a city that prides itself on a plethora of “bro-dozers” and “cowboy Cadillacs” seeing scooters is always refreshing.  And, as the economy has taken a sharper downturn than the financial gurus would like us to believe, quality makes of scooters have been coming to the forefront.  Of course, this also means there are a ton of Chinese junker clone scoots coming out of the woodwork too.  But, I think many people are getting wise to their tactics.

This also means new brands or brands that aren’t well known may fight against the stigma that every bike not a Vespa is a “Chinese” scooter. Really, it’s the Chinese clones that have ruined the reputation of scooters in the US as being “real” bikes.  But, companies like Kymco, Genuine Scooter Company and SYM have thankfully not given up.

Proof? Dunno if it’s proof, but I saw another new Agility 125 on campus today! This gentleman bought  it from the dealer in Avondale (who charged him freight, assembly and “paperwork” on top of tax/title/license, while my dealer informed me that freight and prep are included in the MSRP by Kymco… interesting).  The Agility is priced right and has a modern look without the modern Piaggio or Honda price.  And, it’s made in a plant OWNED and regulated by Kymco, even if it is on the Mainland.  Far different than those build-and-forget crap Chinese scooters.

Good to see I’m not the only one on campus who gets it!